GE Vernova Trains 100 School Girls to Boost STEM Careers in Nigeria
By Adedapo Adesanya
General Electric (GE) Vernova’s Gas Power business and Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) have trained 100 school girls in secondary schools in Nigeria as part of efforts to bridge the gender gap in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers and prepare the next generation of women engineers and innovators.
According to UNESCO’s Institute of Statistics (UIS) data, less than 30 per cent of the world’s researchers are women, with low representation in the public, private, and academic sectors.
Recognising this gap, the Girls in STEM event was held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria, to explore different STEM careers and mentorship.
It was done in commemoration of the International Day for Women in Engineering and featured educative panel discussions on leadership.
According to The organisers, the Girls in STEM program aims to encourage girls to choose careers in STEM, expose them to a network of female role models and organize experiential and discovery sessions to provide an immersive experience into potential careers they can explore in STEM.
The programme was organized in collaboration with GE Vernova’s Gas Power customers, Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Exploration & Production Limited, First Independent Power Limited (FIPL) and TransAfam Power Limited (Transafam) and saw participants drawn from five schools across the city of Port Harcourt, who visited the power plants to experience potential careers in STEM.
Speaking at the event, Mr Kenneth Oyakhire, Services Executive for GE Vernova’s Gas Power business in Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “It is important to delve beyond surface-level issues and identify the underlying factors that discourage girls from pursuing careers in STEM. We are dedicated to showcasing a wide range of opportunities available through our Girls in STEM initiatives, therefore paving the way for a future of high-quality careers in engineering, manufacturing, IT, and product management roles.”
Mrs Foluso Gbadamosi, Executive Director of Junior Achievement Nigeria, emphasized the significance of commemorating this day, stating that there is no better time than now to expose young girls to the possibilities of a career in STEM.
She highlighted the importance of equipping them with the right mindset and showcasing the opportunities available to pursue their dreams. Gbadamosi stressed the benefits of stimulating their interest and launching their STEM careers for their economic future and building thriving communities.
She also underscored Junior Achievement Nigeria’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in the areas of quality education, gender equality, reduced inequalities, and partnership for the goals.
Mrs Gbadamosi appreciated GE Vernova’s Gas Power business for its commitment to the STEM program.
One of the beneficiaries of the corporate social responsibility activity thanked GE Vernova’s Gas Power business and JAN for giving girls the necessary exposure to guide them through their career choices.
“The Girls in STEM programme has opened my eyes to see that nothing should stop me as a girl from pursuing a career in STEM. Seeing and hearing from successful women professionals in male-dominated careers has encouraged us to explore opportunities in STEM, believing that we can be successful,” she added.